AAA 559: Chat Politics

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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Slow clap for the green bubble discussion! I was impressed by the genuinely perceived outrage. :fist:

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Wow!! The Apple iMessage blue chat bubbles vs SMS green bubbles on Android, discussion managed to devolve into Apple users BULLY Android users and blue bubbles vs green bubbles is tantamount to encouraging discrimination and “tantamount to racism” Hyperbolic discussion…and really cheapens actual racism discussions in our society with silly comparisons like this just, wow


Apple has such a low market share over here, that nearly everybody I know has an Android device.

In my family, I switched my wife and myself back to iPhones this year, after being on Android since Windows Phone was canned (Pixel 5X timeframe). My eldest daughter has an iPhone, but everybody else I know privately has Android. In the UK, where my side of the family comes from, I think a few more of them use iPhones, but after the US, I believe the UK is one of Apple’s strongholds for the iPhone.

Our work phones are now all iPhones, that is now company policy. But, the last time I looked, Apple had just crept over the 20% market share again, here in Germany. The last 5 years or so, it had less market share than Windows Phone had, at its height. Worldwide, the market share seems to fluctuate between 15% and 23%.

Regardless, even among the Apple users, I don’t know any that use iMessage, apart from my cousin in the UK. Everybody else uses Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp. I think I’ve sent a total of 5 SMS in the last 3 years and most of those I received were one-time tokens for logging onto websites - when I switched, I let the iPhone import my SMS from my Galaxy and there were a total of 5 non-token SMS, dating back to 2018! So I just deleted them all.

Why aren’t “proper” messengers more popular in the US? They are platform independent and, in the case of Signal and now Threema, they are open source.

I went back to look at my iMessage. I was looking at the posts to my cousin in the UK, the only person I’ve sent messages to with iMessage and was looking at it and thinking, “but they are all black”, then it dawned on me, it is my messages that are blue. Looking at the one-time-tokens I’ve received, they are all black as well (dark mode, possibly white in light mode?).

I’d always assumed that the received messages from non-iPhone users were green.

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I think that is a common misperception. It is actually your own messages that appear as green when they’re sent as SMS. Apple is telling you that you are using SMS/MMS rather than iMessage. Apple doesn’t know what kind of device is on the other end; my message bubbles would be green when I was chatting with someone who was on a Windows Phone. This whole WSJ piece is a mountain out of a molehill. And Hiroshi Lockheimer has tried to turn it from a mountain into a volcano.


Yes, it would be nice if Apple supported RCS, but not a big deal.

My main issue with iMessages is I can’t opt-out.

Folks with iPhones send messages to my email address that go nowhere. I don’t have an iPhone, Messages/FaceTime is logged out on my macs, but I haven’t found a way of telling Apple I don’t want to use it.

Recently missed a get together with an old friend I hadn’t seen for years because of this when he was in town.

Frustrating. From their end, it looks like the message has sent and they get the blue box :roll_eyes:

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Surely this didn’t happen on an Apple device where everything “just works”… you must be doing it wrong (living your life) /sarcasm

Signal does this better… It shows that the message is queued for the user, but updates that indication when the user actually views/receives the message. Signal would be almost perfect if it didn’t tie itself to a phone number.


I must have missed why this Apple messaging thing is a big deal now, hasn’t it been this way for several years now.

Hmm… I know one friend that switched over from Android to iOS. They said “I am done beta testing for Google.”. :grin:

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Is it possible you didn’t “Sign Out” of Messages from the app Preferences? Also, if you regularly use your Mac why not just keep Messages enabled for exactly the scenario you describe? What is the downside? Note: I am not a Mac user, so genuinely curious.

Not if you have signed out of Signal. That was the problem here, Apple registers that you have an account capable of using iMessage, but if you have not signed into iMessage on the Mac, the messages sit there waiting for you to log on, just like an email account (or get dropped after a timeout).

It has been and the green/blue bubble thing has been a theme for several years. Why Google and the press have decided now is the time to blow it out of all proportion is another question.

That said, I don’t see why Apple can’t switch to RCS, it is a data transfer, so doesn’t incur SMS costs for the sender (if they don’t have an SMS flatrate).


Definitely signed out everywhere, but surprised there isn’t a central switch to say I don’t use Apple’s messages which would give the person trying to send you one an undeliverable error.

The downside is I want the messages on the Android in my pocket, not the laptop that’s at home :slightly_smiling_face:

WhatsApp is almost perfect for us. I’d prefer it wasn’t Facebook (watch this space!), and fingers crossed they extend their beta multi-device support to tablets.


How long did it take for usb c port to appear on the iPhone? That’s how long we should expect it to take RCS to be available in iOS.

If you’re signed out, then the message will not be read, and thus the sender will see it queued but never read, which was my entire point. I don’t use iMessage, but presumably it doesn’t indicate anything beyond the message being enqueued, whereas Signal takes it a step further and indicates when the message is opened by the recipient (if it ever is.)

I suspect they will go to RCS when they get around to it! It’s likely not high on the priority list for Apple users right now


In iMessage you can turn on Read Receipts to do that same thing